Wines I am Enjoying: with what, whom and when

Wine: Anima Negra, An 2005 VdlT Mallorca, Spain

Grape variety: 95% Callet, 5% Mantonegra-Fogoneu (indigenous grapes from Mallorca)

Style: Red

Tasting note: Very robust, dark and spicy. Intense fruit flavours with savoury and smokey layers- very complex and layered. Addictive!  

Food Match: Selection of Balearic-inspired Tapas: Sobrasada, Pa amb Oli, Mahon, etc.



When: Purchased while on honeymoon in Mallorca, enjoyed at home 

almost 5 years later with husband. Perfect with tapas and then to sip

while watching 'Sex & Lucia' on a chilly winter evening.



Price: about £25

Score: 93



Wine: Prince Stirbey Novac 2010 Dragasani, Romania

Grape variety: Novac

Style: Red

Tasting note: Concentrated, rich, fruit flavors... lots of spice. Lovely essence of wild herbs over juicy, dark berries. Think: Rhone spice with Beaujolais fruit. 

Food Match: Traditional Romanian food: various salads, salamis, meat balls, cheese



When: Visit to Romania, at a tasting with Baron Jacob and Baroness 

Ileana at the Prince Stirbey Estate in Dragasani. This is the only single 

grape Novac produced in the world. 



Price: about £12

Score: 90



Wine: William Knuttel Pinot Noir 2007 Sonoma Coast, California, USA

Grape variety: Pinot Noir

Style: Red

Tasting note: Very aromatic nose! beautifully perfumed with ripe dark and red fruits. Medium body with lots of fresh acidity but fruit is starting to fade. Should have opened it last year. Still delicious, smooth and perfect with our dinner!

Food Match: Seared strips of duck fillets with sautéed

wild mushrooms 



When: Mom visiting from California and was missing the sunshine



Price: about £15

Score: 88



Wine: Andeluna, Pasionado Grand Reserve Cabernet Franc 2007 Mendoza, Argentina

Grape variety: Cabernet Franc

Style: Red

Tasting note: Amazingly complex and rich aromas of dense red fruit, cocoa, spice wrapped in delicate oak. Very full and big wine, but beautifully structured and smooth. For lovers of big bold Malbec, but with an old-world complexity and elegance. Superb!



Food Match: During a seminar given at this tasting, wine consultant

Jade Koch suggested pairing bold Cab Francs from Argentina

with game dishes. Sorry Bambi!



When: Tasted at the Wines of Argentina Annual Tasting in London



Price: about £29

Score: 93



Wine: Pittnauer 'Dorflagen' St. Laurent 2010 Niederauslese, Burgenland, Austria

Grape variety: St. Laurent

Style: Red

Tasting note: St. Laurent grape is similar in style to Pinot Noir. And we found the familiar fleshy cherry flavours, with touches of spice. Lean and well structured!

Food Match: A variety of meat dishes from my favourite gastro-pub Princess Victoria in Shepherds Bush, West London. 



When: With a group of Italian wine friends: a consultant,

a wine bar owner and winemaker- certainly a discerning bunch!

We tasted this blind and it puzzled and astounded us all! 



Price: about £16

Score: 91



Wine: Stephane Tissot Chardonnay 2006 Arbois, Jura, France

Grape variety: Chardonnay

Style: White

 

Tasting note: For lovers of Sherry, Chateau Musar White and that slightly oxidised flavour. Beautifully developed white fruit, and citrus but with age has gained some complexity. Very interesting style Chardonnay! 

Food Match: Nigel Slater's Zucchini Fritters & Salad



When: mid-week, simple dinner but craving a slightly

unusual wine to match. 



Price: about £19

Score: 89



Wine: Fontodi Chianti Classico 2007

Grape variety: Sangiovese

Style: Red

Tasting note: Fresh, red cherries with elements of leather and spice. Elegant, medium body with high acidity​ - perfect food wine. 

Food Match: Pizza



When: mid-week,

summer evening



Price: about £14

Score: 91



Wine: Dry River Pinot Noir 2008 Martinborough, New Zealand

Grape variety: Pinot Noir

​Style: Red



Tasting note: Heaps of red fruit intertwined with earthy, herbaceous notes. Complex with layers of ripe fruit and savouriness. Evolves in the glass.

Food Match: Wild Mushroom Risotto



When: special dinner with husband

Price: about £50

Score: 94